Another Republican Quits

( – The Republican Party’s slim majority in the House of Representatives has become even narrower with the most recent resignation.

Rep. Bill Johnson’s (R-OH) departure to assume the presidency of Youngstown State University has altered the party balance to 219 Republicans and 213 Democrats, intensifying the challenges for GOP leadership on critical issues.

The House now faces three vacancies in its 435-member chamber. Following a damning ethics report released in December, lawmakers voted to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY). Additionally, after losing the speakership in October, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) chose to exit Congress at the end of last year.

Efforts are underway to fill these vacancies. A special election is scheduled for mid-February to replace Santos.

California is organizing a primary on March 19 and a general election on May 21 to fill McCarthy’s seat, provided no candidate secures over 50% in the primary.

For Johnson’s seat, Ohio has planned a special primary election on March 19 and a general election on June 11.

Compounding these vacancies, the GOP is temporarily down a few members due to health issues.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) is recuperating from a back injury from a recent motor vehicle accident, while Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) is away for a stem cell transplant amidst his battle with blood cancer.

The absence of these members poses additional hurdles for the Republicans, particularly in their efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), in a Fox interview, acknowledged these “medical issues” as challenges but hinted at a potential House floor vote post-early February.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has recently expressed the complexities of the current political landscape for House Republicans.

Faced with opposition from conservative groups like the Freedom Caucus and dealing with a Democrat-controlled Senate and White House, Johnson emphasized the necessity of compromise.

“The House Republicans have the second-smallest majority in history,” he noted, acknowledging the limitations while affirming the commitment to core conservative principles.